(How to Handle) The Great In-Between

 Shhhhhhhh….. Listen.

There’s something different in the air today.

Can you feel it?

Do you hear it?

What is it?

It’s a kind of Silence.

But it’s an active silence… there’s energy here.

What IS that?

It’s the sound, and feel, of Waiting, of the Great In-Between.

In between this year and next.

      In between one stage of the journey, and the next.

          In between this part of our lives, and the next.

                In between endings and beginnings,

                     Old ways and new ways,

The memories we have and the memories we’ll make,

The way things have been and the way things will be,

The known and unknown.

It can be pretty uncomfortable.

Because it’s hard to be in-between, and our tendency is to want to rush through it. To get it over with. To get ON to whatever’s next, because being in this place is so hard. The not knowing is hard.

The waiting is hard.

I know so many who are in-between decisions on jobs and career. In-between on questions of faith. In-between on relationships. In-between on illness and recovery.

In-between sadness and joy.

What will I do now?” There have been too many losses this year, and many I know are hurting. Though grief is another thing entirely, it, too, knocks the breath out of us. Requires us to wait. Forces us to be still – for a time.

“I feel like the earth has eroded from underneath my feet.” That’s how a client described it when the rules she’s always followed no longer seem to fit; when she realized she had more questions than answers, and that she no longer knew what she’d always known.

What makes me happy? I don’t think I really know…” That’s how another answered as we explored his dreams – and options – for career and professional growth. If ‘here‘ isn’t right, what ‘there‘ should he aim for?

At Cove Mountain (my counseling practice) we have a saying, and I’d like to share it with you.

Hold the question.

We often challenge clients (and each other!) to “sit with the question”, to hold it in our minds and our hearts, to resist the temptation to rush to an answer, ANY answer.

Whatever “it” is that’s under your skin, whatever “it” is that’s stirring you, bothering you, teasing you, challenging you…. Just hold it. Wait. Turn it over in your mind. Be still a moment. Answers are many and are bubbling just beneath the surface. They’ll come in time.

It’s a delicate thing – knowing when to act, and when to wait.

There is a time for both.

But during the Great In-Between, a time that happens to us over and over throughout our lives, we must wait.

Just wait. Listen. It’s coming.


You’ll know what to do when the time comes. You’ll know what you think when you need to. Do not worry.

This week – I encourage you to take a few moments. Ponder what the year has brought to you. What lessons have you learned? What questions do you have now? What’s next for you?

It may be that I can help you sort things through. It may be that others in your life can provide some sense of direction, some guidance, feedback, help…

But this week, the last week of December, I encourage you to give yourself permission to wait, to Hold the Question.

Answers will come soon enough.




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January 25-27, 2013.



Photo Credits: by paul (dex) bica, on Flickr


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